A three-year-old boy is set to take on the Mini Great North Run in support of his uncle’s incurable blood cancer.
Harry Watson, from Longbenton, will race 1.5km along Newcastle Quayside on Saturday 10 September, to raise funds for Myeloma UK.
The charity is close to his family’s heart after his uncle Josh Addison was diagnosed with the disease in 2018.
Harry will be cheered on by his mum Rebecca and uncle Josh as he completes the run with his dad Mark.
Harry's mum Rebecca, an intensive care nurse, said: “He loves his uncle and he wants him to get better
“We watched a race in the park and Harry said he wanted to do it – he’s always running around. He has a lot of energy.
"My granddad takes him for 5-mile walks, so he doesn’t need to train. He is really excited.”
The 30-year-old added: “Myeloma UK means so much to us. We want nothing more than for Josh to get better but there’s no cure for myeloma.
"We want to help raise money and we want a cure. Things might change in the next 10-15 years.”
Harry’s uncle was just 23 when he was diagnosed with myeloma, an incurable blood cancer which kills 3,000 patients each year in the UK.
Myeloma is the third most common type of blood cancer, which occurs in the bone marrow, and has symptoms such as back pain, easily broken bones and fatigue.
The symptoms are linked to general ageing and minor conditions, and usually affect people over 65.
The condition currently affects more than 24,000 people in the UK, and only one in 10 people diagnosed with myeloma every year are under 55.
When Mr Addison was diagnosed he had holes in bones.
He immediately began chemotherapy and underwent a stem cell transplant around the time of Harry’s birth.
Mr Addison, from Walker, is now in remission.
But due to the intensity of his cancer treatment, he now suffers from necrotic hips - when blood supply to bone tissue in the hip is disrupted.
The 27-year-old had to give up his job at a local pub due to severe mobility issues and will eventually need a double hip replacement.
More than half of patients with myeloma face a wait of over five months to receive the right diagnosis and around a third are diagnosed through A&E.
By that point, many of them are experiencing severe or life-threatening symptoms.
Rebecca said: “He went in hospital because he was septic but they couldn’t figure out why he had an infection.
"It took a while for them to realise it was myeloma. He was only 23 when he was diagnosed."
She added: “It has been awful but he’s in remission now and that’s all we can hope for.
"But I know Josh struggles every time he has a hospital appointment – he automatically thinks it’s going to be bad news.”
Mr Addison said he was very touched by his nephew's fundraising efforts.
“Harry is the bomb,” he said. “I’m so proud of my little man."
The family are fundraising for Myeloma UK.
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